Refurb IBM laptops. How good a deal is this?

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View

A major store here in NYC always has refurb IBM laptops that seem like
a pretty good deal. I'd like other opinions.

Yesterday they had a T30/256MB/40GB with XP/Pro (if it had WiFi, I
couldn't tell by looking) for $400.  It looked clean.

90 day parts-only warrenty.  two years full warranty for an extra $100
with a third party.

That machine is a damn sight better than the 1GHz Compaq laptop I use
now. I'd stuff more memory in that  machine.

The store is J&R Music World which has a compter store as big as any
CompUSA or Best Buy and predictabbly has very competative prices. /

I have no connection to J&R other than having been a happy customer
for decades.

The only think that worries me is that the sales guy I talked to said
that the store's usual 7 day no questions return policy didn't apply.
I have a fealing that I could get a second opinion on that if I pushed

a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m
Harrison for Congress in NY 13CD  
Don't blame me. I voted for Gore. A Proud signature since 2001

Re: Refurb IBM laptops. How good a deal is this? (Al Dykes) wrote in

Quoted text here. Click to load it

You can find out what the original config of a Thinkpad was by
visiting the Lenovo support site and entering the complete model
number. This will tell you things that aren't readily visible, like
WiFi or Bluetooth installed, what's the video card and display
resolution, etc.

Go to select "Support & Downloads" and enter
the model number in the product number field.

A T30 will have a part number like "2366-xxx" or "2367-xxx" which
should be on a sticker on the bottom of the unit.

Of course, there's no guarantee that the machine hasn't been modified
since it was sold.

Bert Hyman | St. Paul, MN |

Re: Refurb IBM laptops. How good a deal is this?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

IMO the chances of a random business laptop being "modified" other
than chaning memory or disk size is zero.  Both of these are sacy to
check by laying on of hands.  I'd bring a Knoppix CD to test the

After I posted that message, it occurs that I should have asked if
offical and correct media comes with the machine.  Probably IBM
recovery disks.  

a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m
Harrison for Congress in NY 13CD  
Don't blame me. I voted for Gore. A Proud signature since 2001

Re: Refurb IBM laptops. How good a deal is this?

On 23 Jan 2007 10:34:13 -0500, (Al Dykes) wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I owned a T30 that had a problem (common to many of that model,
apparently) with the power circuitry on the main board.... It would no
longer operate off the AC lines... wouldn't charge the battery nor
allow AC operation. I used it for several months by buying an external
(IBM) battery charger and a couple of extra batteries (it also had the
ability to remove the CD drive and insert a special battery there).

It was a wonderful machine and I hated to give it up.... but I
eventually sold it to a college student for $400.... I'd paid almost
that much for the extra batteries and charger to keep it running, but
it just got to be too much of a hassle. Repairs were estimated to be
over $1000... it required a new main board.

If the one you found doesn't now have a problem, it probably will
eventually, so definitely go with the 2 year full warranty if you
decide to get the computer.

Charlie Hoffpauir

Re: Refurb IBM laptops. How good a deal is this?

I've bought several refurb'ed thinkpads in the last couple of years.
More than a couple have died within about 9 months of my purchase.
Moreover, I get the impression that the T30, because it runs hot and
can have memory issues, is more failure prone than most.  I don't know
about a 3rd party warantee, but I would also consider it, especially
if it is one +$100, which is much cheaper than ante-ing up for another

My gut feel is that $400 for that machine would be cheap.  However, if
you go to Ebay, you can quickly see what similar machines go for.  My
current primary machine is a T43p for ~$1k and I love it.  It's on a 1
year IBM + 2 year 3rd party warantee.  Once I'm past the 1st year and
it's still running, I will be happy.

Re: Refurb IBM laptops. How good a deal is this?

Chris F Clark wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Maybe everyone is aware of this one but if not, another good comparison
shopping site is:


This is the old resale arm of IBM Global Financing (store was in
Triangle Park).

Of six personal TPs I've owned, five have come from this site (dating
back to a model 500 w/B&W display).  Four of the five were great buys
and did well.  One (a 560X) lasted only a year due to early death of the
backspace key.  (Why no, I din't abuse the backspace key -- you think I
make errors? -- must have been the prior owner!)  Most recent were a
600E (in use since 1999) and an R32 (from early 2005.)

Detail descriptions of each machine are available with easy access to
docs and drivers.

All five buys from this site were correctly configured by P/N -- & had
most recent bios & drivers when I received them.  Microsoft OS seemed to
be a reload of OEM at the SP1 (or similar) level and needed the usual
hour or so of messing with Microsoft's site.

Early buys from this site always came with a new NiMH battery.  Not the
case since LiOn became common.  However, I've been able to get at least
a year out of these "inspected" batteries before replacement.

If you opt to buy from this site shop it for a few weeks before you
commit.  Prices do get cut to clear large stocks and occasionally they
toss in a free accessory (ultrabay stuff, carrying case, etc.)


Site Timeline